In brief: Mobile-only banks are taking traditional banking by storm with their ease of use, but the one thing they still lack is the sheer scale of the latter services. Revolut, which is among Europe's biggest digital banking apps, is now available to US customers, and is set to give services like Venmo some healthy competition.
Today, British fintech company Revolut announced that its banking app and debit cards are now available for people in the United States. This marks an important step in the firm's global expansion as it moves beyond UK, the EU bloc, Australia, Canada, and Singapore. It's also a great opportunity for quick growth due to its mission of being a digital-only bank.
Revolut's idea is to essentially be a central hub for your banking needs where you can send, receive, spend and manage your money from a single app. One of the most appreciated features is the built-in budgeting tool, alongside a "vault" where you can automatically store spare change as if you always paid a rounded-up sum.
Another important functionality is the ability to generate virtual cards for situations where you don't feel comfortable giving out your banking information.
The US expansion is made through a partnership with the New York-based Metropolitan Commercial Bank, and the company says users will be able to get their salary up to two days in advance via direct deposit at no cost. The deposits are also insured for up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
After being in beta in the US since June 2019 with a pool of over 60,000 testers, Revolut is putting the $836 million it has raised since it was founded in 2015 towards a faster expansion to new regions. The banking app now has over 10 million users and is very popular in Europe with a valuation around $5.5 billion.
The reason why so many people jumped into it is that there are no hidden fees, and in the event that you lose your card or it is stolen, there's an option to freeze it directly from the app. Those of you looking to give it a go can choose from a free tier, as well as two premium subscriptions starting at $9.99 that raise some limits on what transfers you can do with Revolut on a monthly basis.
In Europe, there's also the ability to buy cryptocurrency and mobile phone insurance from inside the app, and the company is working on getting those to the US in the future. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the ability to withdraw cash from over 55,000 ATMs in the Allpoint ATM network.